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Full text of "Year book of the Old setters' association, Johnson county"

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3 1833 01084 7124 

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in 2013 







At an early hour this morning the pioneers began to arrive from 
the country, and throughout the forenoon they assembled at the fair 
grounds. There, -'camping" neath widespread branches of fragrant 
apple trees, they chatted and told stories of olden days to their hearts' 
content. They rejoiced with one another, at the privilege of renew- 
ing the memories of the years of Iowa's territorial life and incipient 
statehood, they talked with glistening eyes of the perils and privations 
of a half century and more ago, and, as we have said, they sighed to- 
gether over departed friends and dear ones. 

They wandered through the quaint old log cabins, with their 
treasure trove of ''ancient history," and in a wakning dream beheld 
their boyhood and girlhood come back to them once more. At noon 
on Nature's own velvety tablecloths, they spread the contents of their 
baskets — rich viands such as only Johnson county housewives know 
how to produce, and feasted on delicious compounds that defy the art 
of the Waldorf-Astoria. 

The association dispensed steaming coffee, the product of the 
skill of the grand high coffee maker Frank Luse, and the amber fluid 
and Nature's pure and crystal offering surpassed all the sparkling 
champagne that ever flowed at a political love feast or a milHonaire's 
trust banquet. 

The dinner hour passed, the literary and musical program of the 
day was presented at length. The committee had prepared a series 
of numbers at once entertaining and instructive, and the best program 
in the history of the association was the result. 

The invocation was pronounced by Rev. M. A. Bullock. The 
principal address of the day was delivered by Dr. B. F. Shambaugh 
who chose for his subject "The Pioneer." 

— 4 — 

The Pioneer. ' 

By Benjamin F. Shambaugh. 

Old Settlers and Pioneers^ and the Sons and Daughters, and the 
Grandsons and Granddaughters of the Old Settlers and Pioneers 
of 'Johnson County: — 

This day (old settlers' day) is the one day in the year set apart 
for the reunion of the pioneer settlers of Johnson county. It is dis- 
tinctively their day. And, since I am addressing those settlers of our 
land who still survive the toils and labors of half a century or more, 
I may with propriety say that this day is your day — a day when it is 
yours to be seen and heard, when you may show the younger gen- 
eration of what stuff the pioneer was made and recount the trials and 
deeds of frontier life. 

To be called upon to address Iowa pioneers is always an honor. 
It is more than this — it is a rare privilege. It is a privilege which 
we of the present generation always welcome. For, to stand face to 
face with pioneers is to inspire feelings of reverence and foster a 
wholesome respect for our ancestors. To study the lives and char- 
acters of the pioneers of Iowa is to strengthen our confidence in the 
future of this commonwealth. For the Iowa of today and tomorrow 
is largely determined by those who first settled upon these hills and 
prairies. "It is with a reverence such as is stirred by the sight of 
the head-waters of some mighty river" that we turn to the consider- 
ation of the character of the pioneers of Iowa. 

There is one principle in the life and character of the Iowa 
pioneer that has always commanded my admiration. I would com- 
mend it to the present generation and to the generations yet uuborn. 
I refer to the principle of economy — that fundamental in all industrial 
progress. The old settler practiced economy ; he saved wealth; he 
created capital. Thus he made possible the industry of today. For 
without saving there can be no capital, and without capital there can 
be no industry. The old settler was a "saver of wealth." He was 
a capitalist, since he possessed the capitalistic instinct to save. 

At times, however, his economy verged on parsimony. I will 
make this point clear by way of illustrations drawn from documentary 

^ An address delivered on "Old Settlers Day," at Iowa City, Iowa, August 
17th, 1899. 

— 5 — 

evidence. In a broader sense these illustrations will serve to indi- 
cate the pioneer's way of looking at things in general. Following 
the true historical method, I will let the pioneer speak for himself. 

It is October loth, 1844. The members of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1844, are assembled in yonder Stone Capitol. After 
listening to several reports from standing committees the conven- 
tion took up Mr. Sell's motion to have daily prayers. ^ 

"Mr. Chapman spoke in favor of the resolution, stating that no 
outlay would be occasioned, as the ministers would gladly attend and 
render the service without compensation. 

"Mr. Gehon said it would not be economical, for the convention 
sat at an expense of $200 to $300 per day, and time was money. 

"Mr. Hall moved an amendment to the resolution, that the ex- 
ercise of prayer commence half an hour before the hour for conven- 
tion to meet. 

"Mr. Chapman said if it passed with such a provision as that, the 
resolution would be an insult to those who believed in the superin- 
tendence of Almighty God, and desired his aid to be invoked in be- 
half of the convention. 

"Mr. Kirkpatrick opposed the resolution, because the religion 
of Christ was a religion of peace and persuasion, and acknowledged 
no compulsion, save moral. To pass a resolution to have prayers was 
compelling men to listen to what they were opposed to, and violated 
one of the inalienable rights of man. 

"Mr. Sells did not expect the resolution to meet with opposi- 
tion, and should regret to have it said of Iowa that she had so far 
traveled out of Christendom as to deny the duty of prayer. 

"Mr. Lucas regretted that there should be contention on this 
subject, and could not believe that any disbelieved in a superintend- 
ing Providence. If ever an assemblage needed the aid of Almighty 
Power, it was one to organize a system of government. He was 
surprised at the expression of his friend from Dubuque, [Mr. Gehon] 
that we had not time to spend a few moments in prayer for divine 
direction. Mr. L. referred to precedents of similar practice in other 

"Mr. Kirkpatrick said if precedent was to be followed, we should 
go back to aristocracy. This was a day of improvement. Let those 

^ The reports of the debate on prayers here presented are copied from the 
Iowa Standard. 

— 6 — 

who believe so much in prayer, pray at home. Public prayer was too 

"Mr. Hooten was opposed to Mr. Hall's amendment, and wanted 
to meet the question on its true merits. If a majority were for prayers, 
have them; but hoped those who were in favor would not press it 
at the expense of the feeling of others. 

"Mr. Hall said he did not offer his amendment through levity, 
but because be believed it right. In the morning, if some were absent, 
the Sargeant-at Arms might be sent after them, they be compelled 
to attend upon what they were opposed to. If any refused to come, it 
would be told to their constituents, and political capital made of it. 
We were to have prayers not for the benefit they would do us, but 
to make the world think we were better than we were. He was 
opposed to that. Let those who prayed, enter into their closets. 
Prayers were introduced at political mass-meetings which ended in 
rows and riots. If prayer was had in accordance with his amend- 
ment, the President could invite some one for that purpose, and there 
would be no interference. 

"Mr. Kirkpatrick said if the Convention had a right to pass the 
resolution, they had a right to establish a religion. It had no right to 
bring the members on their knees every morning. If it had, it might 
do it noon and night; and had a right to require the people of the 
Territory to do the same. We do not require the others not to pray, 
but they require us to. 

"Mr. Chapman disclaimed all idea of force. The resolution was 
but a means of testing whether we should have religious services or 

"Mr. Bailey said whenever politics and religion were mingled, 
excitement was created. When the motion was made to open the 
Convention with prayer the first day, he had no objection. But to do 
it every day would cost $200 or $300. Why not be economical in 
this as well as in other things. Gentlemen who voted against taking 
papers, ^ voted for this resolution. Were the people more interested 
to know the acts of the Convention, or to know that it was opened by 
prayer? Their constituents did not expect such a thing to be intro- 

^ On Oct. 8th the following- resolution was introduced by Mr. Hall: ''Resolved^ 
That each member of the convention have the privilege of taking twenty copies 
weekly, of the newspapers published in this city, and that the expense of the 
same be charged to the contingent expenses of this convention." This resolu- 
tion waH voted down. 

— 7 — 

duced. Absent members might be brought in and compelled to hear 
what they were opposed to. This was contrary to the inalienable 
rights of man. If members did not feel disposed to come, it took 
away their happiness, contrary to the Declaration of Independ- 
ence and the principle laid down by Thomas Jefferson, the Apostle of 
Liberty. If individuals wish prayer, there were meetings in town 
almost every night; let them go there and not take up the time of the 
Convention. Precedent exerted too much influence — operated upon 
the Convention that formed the Constitution of the United States. If 
we were to follow it always, we should hang for witchcraft, and punish 
for religious opinions. People were becoming more liberal in senti- 
ment. No man could say that he ever opposed another on account of 
religion; he respected men who were sincerely religious; but he 
wanted to have his own opinions. 

"Mr. Cutler desired the yeas and nays on the question. He 
had not lived a great while, ^ but long enough not to be afraid of 
meeting such a question openly. He was opposed to the resolution. 

"Mr. Thompson said, when he looked at the system on which 
the Christian religion was propagated, and saw the excitement that 
existed in the convention, he felt satisfied, that although those in 
favor of opening the convention with prayer, might be a majority, 
they ought not to urge the point; and he hoped that the measure 
would be withdrawn. 

"Mr. Fletcher said, that having made the motion by which the 
convention was opened with prayer on the first day, and 
voted to take up this resolution, he felt bound to say something. He 
regretted the opposition that he saw, and he was unwilHng that it 
should go forth to the world that Iowa refused to acknowledge a 
God. He believed it was becoming in the patriot to appeal to the 
Almighty for aid and guidance. He was not a professor, and prob- 
ably would not be acknowledged as an Evangelical Christian, but be 
acknowledged the God of his fathers, and was wilHng to supplicate 
His blessing. He hoped the resolution would pass. 

"Mr. Hall rose to set his remarks right. The drift of the argu- 
ments of those who favored the resolution was to accuse those who 
opposed it of denying the existence of a God. Opposition was no 
evidence of disbelief. He believed, with the gentleman from Mus- 
catine, in the God of his fathers. But he thought there were places 

1 Mr. Cutler was then twenty-eight years of age. 

— 8 — 

where the Almighty could not be approached in a proper spirit — 
and this was one. Precedent was invoked, but he did not believe in 
following it here. Effect abroad was what was desired — not good 
here. They did not tell us we were sinners, and call upon us to re- 
pent. If any gentleman needed religious instruction, he would vote 
to give it to them. It was wrong and hypocritical to send such a 
thing abroad for effect. Men on all sides caught this up for effect. 
At the great Dorr meeting in R. L, a clergyman was procured, 
who prayed for the release of Door, the election of Polk and Dallas 
and the success of Democratic principles. If the Almighty was a 
Democrat, he would perhaps grant the prayer; if not a Democrat, he 
would not grant it. Mr. H. desired to know what was to be prayed 
for? He would pray as did the man in New Orleans, that God 
would 'lay low and keep dark,' and let us do the business of the 
convention. He objected to prayers not out of disrespect to relig- 
ion, but because he thought them inappropriate. It would be going 
a step too far, and would be a mockery. The amendment he had 
offered would give those who desired to pray the free use of the hall 
for half an hour in the morning; the President was authorized to in- 
vite a minister, and would attend to preserve order. 

"Mr. Evans said he never knew prayer to be any disparage- 
ment. He thought the example of the convention that formed the 
constitution of the U. S. a good one to be followed. He did not be- 
lieve so much in "progression" as to exclude prayer, and had no 
fears of its leading to monarchy. When he was a boy, all kinds of 
meetings except political, were opened with prayer. 

"Mr. Grant. — Did they open town meetings with prayer? 

"Mr. Evans. — No; but trainings were so opened. Time enough 
had been already consumed in the discussion to have had prayers for 
a fortnight. He would be in favor of providing a room for those who 
did not wish to hear prayers. 

"Mr. Hepner said he would like to see the Convention be con- 
sistent. The committee that reported a Bill of Rights, had provided 
that no law should be enacted to establish a religion. None had 
opposed that, nor did he presume anybody would oppose it. There 
was a rule of the Convention which required all the members to be 
in attendance when it was in session. Suppose some of the members 
attend somewhere else on religious service in the morning, the Sar- 
geant-at-Arms might be sent for them, and they be compelled to 

— 9 — 

attend here. That would be an interference with the free exercise of 
religion. Mr. H. also spoke of the probability that the services would, 
in the end, have to be paid for, and cited the instance of rent having to 
be paid for the use of the Temporary State House, and the $5,000 
loan from the Dubuque Bank, in support of that opinion. He objected 
to the resolution to have prayers upon the principle of pay, and upon 
the principle of inconsistency, and should vote for the amendment. 

"Mr. Shelledy said be did not feel as if he would represent cor- 
rectly the moral and religious feelings of his constituents, if he re- 
mained silent. He could not conceive that gentlemen were serious 
when they opposed the having of prayers upon the ground of expense. 
Except in case of Congress, he believed no charge was made. He 
thought we should pay some respect to precedent. He said it was a 
matter of record that the most dissolute members of Congress were 
the most zealous supporters of the practice of having daily prayers. 
They said that they would come into the House with violent feelings, 
and prepare to make the most outrageous remarks, but the exercise 
of prayer subdued them, and they could not let out as they intended. 

*'Mr. Sells said he had not heard an}^ reasons to induce him to 
surrender his resolution. The arguments in opposition were incon- 
sistent. Some were afraid of losing religious liberty, and some of the 
expense; some were anxious about their natural rights, and some 
wanted God to 'lay low' — get out of the way altogether. He thought 
that if the majority desired prayers, it was their right to have them. 

"Mr. Quinton thought his constituents as moral as those of the 
gentlemen from Mahaska, (Mr. Shelleday.) He beheved that the 
Bible furnished a rule for faith and practice, but did not believe pray- 
ing would change the purposes of Deity, nor views of the mem- 
bers of the Convention. In the name of Heaven, don't force 
men to hear prayers. He believed in religion but did not want to 
force members to hear what they did not believe in. He was in favor 
of those who wanted to pray, meeting half an hour before the Con- 
vention, and doing it. 

"Mr. Lowe, of Muscatine, said he had not intended to have said 
anything in this discussion; he did not think its continuation would be 
profitable; but he had concluded to say one word. He considered 
that the amendment did not fairl}' meet the question — it was skulk- 
ing it — It was a direct attempt to defeat the resolution, and was un- 
worthy of the gentleman who introduced it. It was in the line of safe 


precedents to pass this resolution as it originally stood, and a refusal 
to pass it would be an imputation upon the House — one that he 
hoped would not be permitted. He said that religion had taken a 
deep hold in this country, and the time would soon come when men 
of proper moral and religious sentiments would alone hold the offices 
of this countr3^ The exercise of prayer would have an effect to 
calm excitement, and contribute to moderation, and for that reason 
he was in favor of it. The gentleman from Des Moines (Mr. Hep- 
ner) was generally correct, but he and others were wrong in the 
present instance. He assumed that the Sargeant-at-Arms might be 
sent to bring in absent members. It was not so. Members were re- 
quired to be present at hours when the convention was doing busi- 
ness. The convention was not open to do business until after the pray- 
er. The prayer itself opened the convention. There was no proper 
organization till afterwards, and members could not be compelled to 
attend till afterwards. Members of Congress were not compelled to 
attend on the prayers. The plea of compulsion was frivilous. He 
was willing to follow the example of the fathers of the country; but 
he did not support prayer solely on the ground of precedent — it 
would tend to give dignity and character to the convention, in all 
time to come. Mr. L. could not believe that those who talked about 
blending Church and State, were serious in what they said. It 
seemed too trifling. Members of Congress were not afraid of 
blending Church and State, nor did the members of the convention 
that formed the Constitution of the United States believe so. He 
hoped the gentleman from Henry (Mr. Hall) would withdraw his 
amendment, and permit the vote to be taken on the original resolu- 
tion, and if the friends of prayer were defeated, they would submit. 

"Mr. Durham now offered a resolution to postpone the further con- 
sideration of the subject until Monday next; but the resolution was 
cut off by a motion from Mr. Langworthy that the Convention adjourn; 
which prevailed." ^ 

The daily sessions of the Convention of 1844 were not opened 
with prayer. It could not be shown that prayer was worth two or 
three hundred dollars. 

Of the extreme economy of the pioneers of Iowa we find still 
further confirmation in the debates of the same convention. I refer 

^ On the day following- this interesting debate a resolution was passed by the 
Convention indefinitely postponing the whole matter. 

— II — 

especially to the discussion on the salaries of the State officers. The 
committee had recommended that the Governor be paid $1000 per 
annum; Secretary of State $500; Treasurer $400; Auditor $700; 
Judges of the Supreme and District Courts $800. 

''Mr. Hooten thought the salary [of Governor] was about righ^S^ 
at $1000. The Governor was rather than else considered as public 
property, would have to entertain a good deal of company, etc., and 
should have a pretty liberal salary." 

"Mr. Harrison said, we were in a youthful condition, and were ' 
poor, and we could not afford to pay such salaries as the wealthy 
State of Ohio * * * He wanted the officers to share something in 
the hardship and privations of the citizens. He would not have them 
gentlemen of leisure, walking about the streets, talking with their 
friend, etc., with plenty of money in their pockets. An hoj iest man 
would perform the duties of Auditor as well for $3PP as $1000. _Xf 
he was not an honest man we did not want him." 

''Mr. Chapman said he desired to pay a fair price for services 
rendered, but he was not willing to spend a single dollar for dignity. 
He did not want to have men paid to live as gentlemen, with no ser- 
vices to perform * * * A farmer toiled from the rising of the sun, 
to its going down, and at the end of the year had not made perhaps 
$100; * * * In this country we were all poor, and have to do with 
but little." 

"Mr. Bissel supported the reduction of the salary, and referred 
to the state of Vermont * * * He did not want to support govern- 
ment officers at high salaries, to ride about in their coaches and sport 
gold spectacles. * * * He did not want them paid for giving wine 
parties. * * * They should walk from their residences to their offices 
as other citizens." 

What wonder that in the midst of such arguments Mr. Hemstead 
should have said that he "felt disposed to make a motion that no 
gentleman or man of ability should be appointed to any office under 
the government of the State of Iowa." 

Turning now to a more general consideration of the character of 
the pioneer settlers of Iowa we find that there was at the time a differ- 
ence of opinion. Calhoun states that he had been informed that "the 
Iowa country had been seized upon by a lawless body of armed 
men."i Clay had received information of the same nature. ^ And 

n^ong-. Globe, Vol. VI, Appendix, p. 137. 
2 Ibid, p. 139. 


Mr. Ewing (Senator from Ohio) emphatically declared that he 
would not object to giving each rascal who crossed the Mississippi 
one thousand dollars to get rid of him.i Nor was the view repre- 
sented by these statesmen uncommon. It was entertained by a large 
class of men throughout the East and South who looked upon the 
pioneers in general as renegades and vagabonds forming a "lawless 
rabble" on the borders of civilization. To them the first settlers 
were "lawless intruders" on the public domain, "land robbers," 
^'fugitives from justice," and "idle and profligate characters." ^ Squat- 
ters, they said, were those "who had gone beyond the settlement and 
were wholly reckless of the laws either of God or man."^ They 
were "non-consumers of the country performing no duties either 
civil or military. 4 In other words, they were held up as the frag- 
ments of society. 

Now, however apt this characterization may have been when 
applied to frontiersmen of an earlier day, ^ it was wholly unmerited 
when made in reference to the squatters of Iowa. All testimony 
based upon direct personal observation is overwhelmingly against it. 
Albert Lea, a Lieutenant in the service of the United States, who 
traveled through Iowa in 1835, writes that "the character of this 
population is such as is rarely to be found in our newly acquired ter- 
ritories. With very few exceptions there is not a more orderly, in- 
dustrious, active, painstaking population west of the Alleghanies, — 
than is this of the Iowa District. Those who have been accustomed 
to associate the name 'squatters' with the idea of idleness and reck- 
lessness, would be quite surprised to see the systematic manner in 
which everything is here conduced. * * * It is a matter of sur- 
prise that about the Mining Region^ there should be so Httle of the 
recklessness that is usual in that sort of life." ^ Two years later, 
(1838) P. H. Engle, writing from Dubuque, says: "The people 
are all 'squatters;' but he who supposes that these settlers * * * 
who are now building upon, fencing and cultivating the lands of the 
government, are lawless depredators, devoid of the sense of moral 

^ Cong. Globe, Vol. Ill, p. 431. 

' Petition from settlers in Wisconsin — Sen. Doc. 2nd Sess., 25th Cong-. Vol. 
I, Doc. 30, pp. 1, 2. 

• Con^r. Globe, Vol. Ill, pp. 431, 432. 

* Ibid. 

^ Notes on the Wisconsin Territory, by Albert L,ea, p. 14. 
" The region about Dubuque. 

' Notes on the Wisconsin Territory, by Albert Lea, p. 14. 

— 13 — 

honesty, or that they are not in every sense as estimable citizens, 
with as much intelligence, regard for law and social order, for public 
justice and private rights * * * as the farmers and yoeman of 
New York and Pennsylvania * * * has been led astray by 
vague and unfounded notions, or by positively false information." ^ 
The statements of Lea and Engle fairly represent the opinion uni- 
versally advanced by those who came in contact with or who partici- 
pated in the pioneer life of lowa.^ 

Indeed, nothing is more certain in my mind than that the pioneers 
of Iowa as a class were neither idle, ignorant, nor vicious. They 
were representative pioneers of their day; than whom Benton declared, 
"there was not a better population on the face of the earth." ^ They 
were of the best blood and ranked as the best sons of the whole 
•country. 4 

They were young, strong, and energetic men, hardy and adven- 
turous. Caring little for the dangers and toils of the frontier, they 
extended civilization and reclaimed for the industry of the world vast 
forests, prairies, and deserts. By their industry they added much to 
utilities of the country. They made roads, built bridges and mills, 
cleared the forests, broke the prairies, erected houses and barns, planted 
orchards, and defended the settled country against the Indians.^ 
Especially were they distinguished for their intelligence, hospitality, 
independence and bold enterprise.^ They had schools and school- 
houses, erected churches and observed the Sabbath. A law abiding 
people they were always loyal American citizens, strongly attached 
to the Nation and the general Government. In their morals as in their 
economy they were sometimes rather narrow. But in general the 
pioneer was liberal and broad-minded. 

Nor are we surprised to find that the pioneer had these charac- 
teristics. It is simply indicative of a more or less perfect adaptation 
to the conditions of his life. In the first place only strong and inde- 
pendent hearts ventured to the frontier. A weaker class could not 
have hoped to endure the toils, the labor, the pains, and the loneliness 
of pioneer life. For the hardest and at the same time the most sig- 

^ Observations upon the Wisconsin Territory, by P. H. Dng-le. 

* Cf. Address of Geo. W. McCrary before the Pioneer I^aw-Makers Asso- 
'Ciation of Iowa, 1890, p. 112. 

3 Cong. Globe, Vol. VI, p. 143. 

* Ibid, Appendix, p. 512. 

5 Cong. Globe, Vol. VI, Appendix, pp. 132, 137. 
« Ibid, p. 143. 

— 14 — 

nificent battles of this century were fought with axes and plows in the 
"winning of the West." The frontier called for men with large capa- 
city for adaptation — men with flexible and dynamic natures. Espec- 
ially did it require those who could break with the past, forget tradi- 
tions and if necessary discard inherited political and social ideas. 

And with such material to work upon the strong external factors 
of the W est brought into American Hfe elements distinctively Ameri- 
can. The broad rich prairies of Iowa and Illinois seem to have broad- 
ened men's views and fertilized their ideas. Says Stephen A. Doug- 
lass: "I found my mind liberalized when I got out on these broad 
prairies, with only the Heavens to bound my vision, instead of having 
them circumscribed by the narrow ridges that surrounded the valley 
[in Vermont] where I was born." ^ 

The West intensified and fostered the principles of self-govern- 
ment, and introduced into American politics those agencies which were 
to nationalize the General Government, And for the accomplishment 
of this great work it produced such leaders as Jackson, Lincoln, and 
Kirkwood — pioneers all. 

^ Ivincoln-Doug-lass Debates, p. 134. 

Those Gone Before. 

The necrological report was prepared by Horace Sanders, but 
in his absence it was read by 'Squire Gil R. Irish. It gave the list 
of those who have been summoned to their eternal home and whose 
deaths have not been hitherto reported by the Association. The 
record of sadness is as follows: 

Allen, W. C. 
Adams, Mrs. John 
Adams, Moses 
Abrams, E. 
Beach, Abel 
Brown, John 
lianbury, Mrs. Thos. 
Backing-ham, Mrs. Mary 
Burke, Thomas 
Baxter, J. W. 
Clark, (jQO. B. 
Carlcton, Mary J. 
Calkin, Charles 
Cavanagh, (Gamaliel 
Chenskey, Mrs. Charles 
Coulihan, Jerry 
Clearman, Mrs. 
Crow, Mrs. Nathaniel 
Crosby, P^lizabeth 

Hershire, A. J. 
Hedg-es, J. P. 
Hutchinson, Mrs. Julia 
Hess, Mrs. Sarah H. 
Hummer, Mrs. Jennie 
Houk, Mrs. Elmira K. 
Henderson, Rev. Stephen 
Holderness, Mrs. Josiah 
Hudnut, Henry 
Johnson, Mrs. Sylvanus 
Jacobs, Mrs. Nicholas 
Jones, Mrs. David O. 
Jones, Mrs. John P. 
Kespord, Jacob P. 
Ivce, Mrs. Eug-ene 
Lloyd, Dr. Frederick 
Tvoan, Mrs. June 
Morseman, Dr. M. J. 
Moerschel, Mrs. John 

Roberts, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Ruppert, Mrs. William 
Roberts, Chas. 
Stewart, Mrs. Janet 
Shiland, Mrs. Catherine 
Strub, Mrs. Mary A. 
Strang-, Mrs. Jas. B. 
Smith, Mrs. John 
Smiley, Mrs. M. M. 
Sprandle, John 
Seymour, Sarah E. 
Sawin, Mrs. Samuel 
Schenkmeyer, Henry 
Statler, Andy 
Smith, Mr. John 
Stewart, Mrs. E. 
Summerhays, Mary A, 
Thornbury, J. H. 
Tuck, Mary Templin 

— 15 — 

Carder, Lucy A. 
Clark, Mrs. Jane 
Dodder, Geo. W. 
Denton, Mrs. Robert 
Deever, Mrs. J. 
Dorwart, Mrs. Daniel 
Doyle, Patrick 
Downs, Mrs. Willis 
Davis, Knoch 
l^lbert, Mrs. William 
Fountain, Mrs. Andrew 
Fox, Osmond B. 
Feenan, James 
Fenton, TS,. 
Fry, Mrs. Jane 
Gould, Mrs. G. W. 
Goss, Mrs. 

McCune, Mrs. Austin 
Mahana, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Morford, Mrs. Mary 
Memler, John 
Mead, James 
Murphy, Patrick 
Overstreet, Mrs. 
Orr, William 
Ott, V. 
Payne, Mrs. 
Pate, Mrs. Maurice P. 
Preston, Georg-e C 
Powell, Miss Martha 
Pisha, Joseph P. 
Patterson, W. W. 
Poland, C. H. 
Reno, Mrs. Morgan 

Thomas, Bert 
Trimble, Huldah 
Trimble, Caroline M. 
Teeter, John 
Tomlin, Georg-e 
Taylor, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Westcott, Moses A. 
Waite, Dr. James H. 
Wade, Mrs. Patrick 
Warner, Mrs. E. 
Wray, Carson B. 
Wray, Miss Catherine 
Wilkinson, Martin 
Younkin, Archie 
Younkin, Mrs. Martha 

Regret Their Absence. 

Being unable to attend the reunion, several pioneers sent letters 
of good cheer, expressing regret at their unavoidable absence. 
These epistles were read by Mat. Cavanagh. They were from Henry 
N. Berry, of Cloud Chief, O. T; Hon. J. D. Bowersox, of Lawrence, 
Kan., and Dr. and Mrs. C. H. Preston of Davenport. 

D. K. Shaver's Memories. 

The only other address of length was Capt. D. K. Shaver's 
^'Reminiscences of Early Days." That jolly old patriach of over a 
half-century ago talked in a strain that must have surprised those who 
knew nothing of the poetry and sentiment that lurk in the grizzled 
veteran's soul. He was really eloquent. 

He spoke in part as follows: 

''A little over a half-century back this country was in its primitive 
state, fresh from the hands of the great Architect. 

We can well imagine what a beautiful country it was to the first 
beholder, standing on the Indian Lookout, made classic by Mr. Yewell 
our former townsman, in his first effort at the art of painting. Look- 
ing to the east and west, there must have been presented to the eye 
a scene of unsurpassed beauty. 

For a distance of miles and miles the undulating prairie stood out 
in bold outline of variegated flowers, grasses, forests and hazel corpses, 
with their foliage of green; later they were tinted with the various 
hues of Autumn, as she spread her transcendent beauty from the billowy 

— i6 — 

prairie, forest and glade and skirted stream where the morning sun 
first touched with its rays the P'ather of Waters and its setting flooded 
with a sea of gold, and bathed the whole intervening landscape with 
its soft, mellow light. 

The seasons had come and gone, for countless ages over this 
lovely scene, with none to appreciate its beauty and grandeur, and the 
waters of the streams, then nameless, had flowed on silently to the 
ocean, and heard no sound save their own dashings the howl of the 
wild beast, and of the wild man. 

But the time was rapidly approaching when it was to be invaded 
by the white man. In 1838, two young men from the Hoosier state, 
Eli Myers and Philip Clark, first built their cabins in Johnson county. 
They returned to their homes in the fall of that year, and in the soring, 
with a few of their friends came back to their future homes be3"ond 
the Mississippi. In 1839 the county was organized after which the 
tide of emigration rapidly filled it. 

They came from the east, north, south and west, from the Father- 
land, the Rhine and the Rhone, from the Tweed, and the Doon, the 
Ban and the Shannon. Our native Americans left the rock-ribbed 
hills of their native homes on a long, tedious journey of weeks and 
months, over mountains, valleys, marshes, and rivers, with ox and 
horse teams, and here commenced life in the humble log cabin. 

We can hardly understand the patience, the courage, the toils 
privations they had to undergo. But this simple, primitive mode of 
living was dear to them, as with stout hearts and strong hands they 
worked for a better state of things for themselves and families. 

In all conditions of life, and in all nations of the globe, and in all 
ages of the past there are certain chords of the human heart which 
when touched, vibrate in the same manner. Joy leaps as high in the 
humble cabin, over the birth and marriage, as in the most splendid 
palace. Hope springs as exultant on triumphant wings over the 
lowly cot, as the lordly mansion. 

The first settlers had "bushels of fun." Everybody was invited 
to a wedding. The cabin was cleared of its belongings after the 
wedding feast. The fiddler took his place on a table or box in a 
corner, and old and young "tripped the light fantastic toe" till the 
"wee sma' hours," with no distinction as to dress or class. 

We have seen some of the most pathetic scenes at the funeral, 
or at the grave of a first settler. Perhaps 'twas a father or mother, 

— 17 — 

or a child consigned to the grave — the first and only one on that part 
of the prairie — hundreds of miles from friends and relatives. Though 
they had the sympathies of all the neighbors, how their hearts would 
yearn for their cabin homes, and the pang felt by the blow of the 
death angel is as keen in the cabin of the humble and lowly as in the 
marble halls of the titled of the earth. 

The pioneer was the advance guard of civihzation. His cabin 
w^as the outpost, with all the civihzation of all the ages behind it, and 
to which and over which expansion will march to still further fields of 
conquest. The trail to his cabin was the forerunner of the highways 
and railways, over which the commerce of a vast country was to be 
carried. His humble cot was the simple improvement eventually 
changed for comfortable homes, and his rude surroundings were to 
be replaced by all the refinements and luxuries of a civilization that 
he made possible. 

Viewing retrospectively his earnest life, his patience and toil, his 
courage and strength, his fortitude under all the circumstances that 
surrounded him, we realize that here was the source of brain and 
brawn, and a virile power that builds up and sustains mighty com- 
monwealths, and that we have in those brave pioneers and their lives 
a repetition of the picture drawn by the immortal Burns, when he 
stood looking upon the farm houses and cottages that studded the 
quiet landscape, and thought of the lowly worth, the fortitude, the piety, 
which were often to be witnessed in those lowly habitations. Then 
his heart swelled with feelings to which he afterwards gave vent in 
that beautiful poem. "The Cotter's Saturday Night." 

"From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs, 

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad. 
Prince and lords are but the breath of kings, 
'An honest man's the noblest work of God.' " 
From scenes like these Iowa's grandeur rises and through them 
she has gained her exalted position among her sisters, and has be- 
come one of the most potent factors for good among the galaxy of 

Fifty-six years ago, when I first saw Iowa City, it was a strag- 
gling hamlet on the confines of civilization — and outside. The habita- 
tion of the settler was invariably the log cabin (a specimen of which 
you see on the fair grounds today.) What changes have taken place! 

The mechanics' academy and the ancient seminary have given 
place to the State University, with its laboratory, museum, and Hbrary. 

— i8 — 

Commercial colleges and high schools are here. The ox and horse 
team have made way for the palace car; the grain cradle for the self- 
binder; the flail for the separator, the self-feeder and blowing stacker; 
the omnibus for the street car. The flax break is a thing of the past. 
The corn-planter, the seeder and the disk have taken the place of 
the hoe, the harrow and the plow, and the farmer of 50 years ago, 
looks with astonishment at the vast improvements that have taken 
place in his days. 

Cloud Chief, Okla., Aug. 9, 1899. 

Mr. M. Cavanaugh, 

Iowa City, Iowa. 
Dear Friend: — 

Your kind invitation received and we would be glad to accept 
it, but as that is not practicable, please say to our friends that al- 
though our residence is changed we always think of Johnson county 
as home, and we would very much enjoy meeting with them again. 
Tell them when they come to Oklahoma, that Berry's latch string 
is always out to Johnson county people. 

Very truly yours, 

Henry N. Berry and Family, 
AND Mrs. C. C. Berry. 

Davenport, August 15, 1899. 
Messrs. G. R. Irish and M. Cavanagh, 

Committee on Invitation. 

Dear Sirs: — 

It is with keen regret that Doctor and I deny ourselves the 
pleasure of meeting with you and other friends at the Old Settlers' 
picnic to which you have so kindly invited us. I know from exper- 
iences of the past how interesting these gatherings are, and how de- 
lightfully the reminiscences will sparkle with wit and humor and how 
the genuine good-will and good fellowship that pervaded the atmos- 
phere will rejuvinate the old settlers as well as the young. There- 
fore when considering all this and the well filled hampers beside — it 
is no exageration to say that we keenly regret not being with you 
on so felicitious an occasion. 

1 will close my letter by telling the gentlemen a secret I have 

— 19 — 

known for some years about them; one which I presume they have, 
until this hour, fondly believed only their betterhalves had discovered, 
When 1 was teaching school in your county some years ago, 
one of your bright-eyed little boys told me, in all earnestness and as 
a physiological fact, that ''your stomachs when full held three 
pecks." Now I'm sure that will be their condition today, and the 
Doctor joins me in hoping that your digestions are good, and also in 
hearty good will to all. 


Mrs. Ruth Irish Preston. 

Lawrence, Kansas, August 9, 1899. 
M. Cavanaugh and G. R. Irish, 

Old Settlers Committee, 

Iowa City, Iowa. 

My Dear Friends: — 

I am honored by your invitation to meet with the Old Settlers 
August 17th. I am more than pleased that you remember me, 
proud to be remembered and named among the old settlers of John- 
son county, Iowa. 

The boy is impatient to be a man in years. The old man sighs 
for the days of his boyhood. After boyhood, up to a certain time in 
a man's life, he desires to be considered young, but later on, he 
prides himself on the number of years that have passed over him. I 
don't know just where the turning point is; I am just betwixt and 
between, and have reached that point where my age is not a matter 
for boasting; but today I will not conceal the fact that I am a little 
puffed up by the thought that I am one of the younger old citizens. 

How many of you remember the old Gower store building that 
stood on the lot where Herman Strub succeeded to my business? Do 
you recall the firm of Gower & Holt? Can you picture the old 
brick building, built at different times, with the offset at about the 
middle of the main floor, and the old-fashioned fire-place at the rear 
of the store room? To the rear and at one side of this old fire- 
place, James H. Gower had his office in the early sixties — James H. 
Gower, pioneer, over six foot on the outside and taller on the inside, 
one of the brainiest men that helped to make Iowa and Iowa Cit}^ 
Mr. Gower's little dingy office had one small window with 8x10 


lights and when he left the door of the office open, he could be seen 
from the sidewalk at his desk. Mr. Gower was a stern man to those 
who did not know his kindly side. His daughter, Mary, and I were 
mutually interested in what to us was a very serious matter, and 
while we agreed perfectly, it was suggested that we take her father 
into our confidence, and at least allow him to think that he was a 
silent partner in the affair. I was to be spokesman. I will not say 
how many times I walked by the store door and cast a glance at the 
face of the old gentleman in the gloomy office. I wanted to ap- 
proach my fate at an opportune moment. After days of observa- 
tion, I finally got my courage so high that my feet were induced to 
carry me into the office and into the presence of <'her father." Since 
that day, 1 have braved the dentist in his own chair; have taken 
friends home with me to dinner without giving my wife notice; have 
tried to get into my home quietly late at night — after being later 
than usual at my club; I was one of the crowd that for about one 
long hour struggled through the tortuous mazes of the stairways 
leading to the old Metropolitan Hall when Tom Thumb was in Iowa 
City, but never have I felt my heart so high up in my throat as on 
that day when I faced James H. Gower and in halting, broken sen- 
tences told him that I had a small favor to ask of him, that I wanted 
him to give me his daughter. 

In 1868, the old Gower brick store building with its low ceiling, 
10x14 front windows, and its old fireplace for wood, gave way to 
the structure now occupied by Herman Strub & Co. Herman Strub 
who began as a clerk with me in the early seventies, then a ruddy- 
faced German boy, then and now deserving any success that may 
come to him. I have read in the papers the dissolution notice of the 
co-partnership between that erratic but capable old citizen, LeGrand 
Byington and Uncle Sam. Many years ago, when I was a young 
man, I was in Johnson County Court one day, at a time when Mr. 
Byington lost a case because of his refusal to stamp a legal paper. 
Later in the day, in front of my store, I commented on this to a 
friend, saying, it was to me unaccountable that Byington would in- 
sist on doing a thing that could only result in loss to him. Unknown 
to me, i3yington was just behind me and heard my comment. He 
stepped in front of me, raised his hand above his head and said, "I 
will tell you why sir. Because it is necessary sir, that some man 
sir, should stand up for the liberty of his countryman." 


May I be able to meet with you next year and "may you all 
live long and prosper." 

Sincerely and with best wishes, 


There was present besides those mentioned elsewhere: 

Adams, ^. M. Hunt, Wm. and wife 

Alderman, P. A. Hunter, Lennel and wife 

Adams, J. M. Hunter, George 

Andrew, Orin and wife Hunter, Wm. and wife 
Andrews, William and wifeHeath, J. R. 

Andrews, Joseph Hemphill, J. K. 

Andrews, John and wife Horner, Benjamin 

Andrews, Mary Jane 
Alder, Ira. J. and wife 
Alt, Joseph 
Babbit, Mr. and wife 
Ball, Sarah A. 
Burg-e, Martin and wife 
Barber, D. S. 
Brockway, E^. F. 
Burge, M. 
Buchanan, W. H. 
Balluff, E:. 

Burk, John A. and wife 
Beuter, A. W. 
Barnes. J. W. and wife 
Borland, Geo. 
Brown, Mrs. Julius 
Bowen, W. J. 
Baker, Chas. 
Ball, George 
Brenan, Thos. 
Colony, P. 
Cochran, Wm. 
Curtis, L,. E^. 
Crou, J. G. 
Clifford, C. K. 
Cupp, W. 
Cannon, W. D. 
Calkins, A. T. and wife 
Coldren, Mary O. 
Conklin. D. V. and wife 
Dorcas, Mrs. Mattie 

Hemstead, F. and wife 
Hess, S. J. 

Hanke, William and wife 
Hope, Miss Anna F. 
Hope, Fnoch and wife 
Hitchcock, George 
Hubner, Charles 
Howell, Flias and wife 
Howell, Mathew J 
Hummer, W. 
Hill, Sion 
Hoffman, J. M. 
Hohenschuh, Mrs 
Hevern, Ramsey 
Howell, Ralph 
Hradek, Jos. 
Hart, J. W. 
Hall, J. R. 
Harvat, Miss Fmma 
Hill, Mrs. Mary 
Hastings, S 
Holten, O. M. 
Hess, Mrs. FHa 
Hastings, Henry 
Irish, G. R. and wife 
Johnson, Mrs. Kate 
Jones, Geo. 
Jayne, John F. 
Jones, Mrs. H. 
Jones, Geo. 
Johnson, Dr. I^eora 

Douglas, Ivorimer and wif eKessler, A. W. 

Dodder, Miss M. 
Dennis, Bryan 
Dixon, David M. 
Douglas, W. M. 
Davis, T. R. 
Devault, Strawder 
Dennis, F. 
Drake, M. A. 
Furbish, Mrs. Isaac 
Fairall, Judge S. H. 
Fairall, Rev. H. H. 
Fairall, Chas. 
Fry, Sam. P. 

Keen, R. A. 

Neuziel, Frank 
O'Brien, J. W. 
Picard, J. Iv. 
Parsons, Mrs. Flsie 
Pratt, Wm. and wife 
Pryce, Frank 
Plum, Jerry 
Robinson, C. F. 
Robinson, Jas. T. 
Rundel, Iveroy and wife 
Rhue, Mr. J. F. 
Rich, J. W. and wife 
Rowland, W. J. 
Richardson, A. and wife 
Rarick, Wm. and wife 
Riley, Caroline N. 
Ried, Mrs. Iowa 
Stratton, Frank and wife 
Snyder, Miss Maria 
TeresaSweet, W. F. 

Seydell Jacob and daughter 
Startsman, O. and wife 
Strawbridge, J. K. 
Stover, J. Y. and wife 
Sanders, M. T. 
Schneider, F. 
Switzer, J. C. 
Siverly, Mrs. Geo. 
Sawyer, D. F. and wife 
Shaver, Capt. Phill. and 

Shaver, Daniel 
Stevenson, John A. 
Sumner, Mrs. Henry 
Struble, J. T. and wife 
Sanders, Fuclid and wife 
Sanders, Horace 
Sunier, John and wife 
Seydel, Milton and wife 

Summerhays, Miss Fliz. 
Kettlewell W. A. and wifeSueppel, John Jr. 
Lee, J. J. Showers, Mrs. A. C. 

I^ewis, H. Ten Fick, Wm. P. and wife 

lyee. Miss Margaret Ten Fick. Fd. G. and wife 

Ivee, Mr. Walter Thomas, D. R. 

I^ucas, Col. F. W. and wifeToms, H. 
I^ancaster, Garett Thomas, Mrs. Fzra 

Miller, J. J. Tobb, Jas. and wife 

Mueller, A. H. and wife Tanner, Frank 

Vanfleet, Mrs. J. R. 
Vonstine, J. P. and wife 

Miller, Phill. 
McCallister, James 

McKray, James and wife Vonstine, Dr. 


Fackler, W. B. 
Fry, Miss Virg-inia 
Foster, W. E. C. 
Fairchild, 1^. 
Files, J. M. 
Fountain, Andrew 
Fljm, Peter 
Fracker, Cora R. 
Fleming-, G. W. 
Fountain, Thos. 
Gaj^mon, Charles 

McKray, John 
MeKray, Miss I^ydia 
Metzg-er, J. J. and wife 
McDonell, l^nos 
Madden, Geo. 
McChesney, R. A. 
Marshall, Wm. 
Myers, S. B. 
Miller, W. H. 
Myers, Mrs. Sarah A. 
McCallister, J. and wife 

Wilson, Jas. S. and wife 
Webster, M. 1^. 
Walker, John 
Walker, Henry 
Wieneke, H. G. and wife 
Willson, Mrs. Edna 
Westcott, Miss Kate 
Webber, J. J. 
Welch, Samuel and wife 
Watts, Mrs. Matilda 
Wagner, Geo. and wife 
Willson, Miss Iveva 

Gaymon, Harry and wife Moore, E. B. and wife 
Gearkee, Mrs. Henry andMoore, Calvin 

daughter Morse, Mrs. E^. K. 

Hill, Mrs. J. G. Morse, William 

The foregoing list is far from complete. If all who attended the 
reunions hereafter will see the Secretary, drop in their quarters, and 
leave their names, and any items of interest they may have it will 
help to make up the records. 

Song by Mr. Griswold. 

Old Settlers' Day has come again, 
And we are on the ground. 
And a better looking crowd to see 
Is hardly to be found. 

And when we say good looking crowd, 
We mean our lady friends. 
For in their shy and sparkling eyes 
Our happiness depends. 

Some sixty years or more ago, 
When I was a little boy, 
I learned to love a little girl 
And she was all my joy. 

But God, who doeth all things well. 
Has taken her home with Him to dwell, 
And I am left to weep and mourn 
Until I meet her near the throne. 

My mother taught my sisters dear. 
To make themselves quite useful, 
Bui now you will see the dear loved ones 
Astride of a bicycle. 

— 23 — 

Our boys were strong and hardy lads 
And helped to till the ground, 
But now they are sent to school to learn 
To kick the foot ball round. 

We used to have our dancing jigs, 
Our music was the fiddle, 
We kicked up our heels pretty lively, 
'Twas up and down the middle. 

We did not have to put our arms 
Around our partner's waist. 
For she was able to carry herself 
And do it with a grace. 

We used to have our husking bees, 
And lots of fun and frolic. 
And sometimes we would get so gay 
You'd thought we had the colic. 

We used to have good whisky then, 
And lots of cider, too. 
And sometimes we'd forget ourselves 
And get a little blue. 

The Parson when he came around 
To visit our sinful race. 
Did not refuse his glass of grog 
Before he could say grace. 

The lawyer, when you want advice. 
Is always very free. 
But if there is any money in it 
He's sure to get his fee. 

The Yankees sometimes are accused 
Of doing naughty things. 
Such as making wooden nutmegs, 
And hams and horn gun springs. 

About four miles out west of town. 
There is a lovely plot of ground. 
And when you get old and in a fix. 
Go out and board with Landlord Wick's. 

— 24 — 

The coroner will come in next, 
As you can plainly see, 
And when the final order is given, 
Let it be to Capt. A. B. Cree. 

And now kind friends we will say adieu, 
The time has not seemed long, 
In nineteen hundred, if I live, 
I'll sing you another song. 

Personal Mention. 

There were at the meeting a number of people whose names are 
closely connected with the history of the county. Among them all 
perhaps none is held in more loving remembrance than Mrs. S. J. 
Kirkwood. She seldom misses these gatherings of her old friends 
and neighbors and they look for her coming eagerly. 

Miss Lillie Adams of Chicago, Mr. J. A. Printz and wife of Cali- 
fornia, Mrs. Geo. H. Choat and daughter Irma of Idaho, Mr. C. A. 
Cartwright and his sisters Mrs. Sarah J. Thomson, and Miss Emma 
Cartwright of Marengo, Hon. Robert. S. Finkbine and son Charlie 
of Des Moines, and Mrs. Virginia E. Hanby Wright of lUinois, came 
to spend the day with old friends and revive old memories. 

The earliest settler present was James Walker, of Pokertown. 
He came to the county in 1837, and is the oldest living resident in the 
county. His brother Henry, of River Junction, was there too, but 
he did not come till three years later, but he has been here long 
enough to gather together iioo acres of land so he is not seriously 
regretting the seniority of his brother. Capt. J. Y. Stover was not 
far behind James Walker in locating here. It was 1838 when he first 
saw Johnson county. To look at him one would be certain that it 
was the first year he saw light anywhere, but he was 15 years old 
when he came here, locating in Sand town, and he is 76 now. He 
does not look a day over 60. S. Hill of Scott township was next to 
him in seniority, but perhaps the most remarkable of any of these are 
Mr. and Mrs. Eben Adams. Mr. Adams was not only the oldest 
man on the grounds in point of years, for he is 88, but he has lived in 
the county longer than any but three or four. He arrived at Musca- 
tine 1837 l^ut did not come to this county till the fall of 1838. The 
following year the lady who afterwards became his wife came here 

— 25 — 

from Pennsylvania, and in 1842 they were married. They have the 
record as the oldest living couple married in Johnson county. 

Mrs. Fanny Walker, of Oolagaugh, Indian Territory, an old 1838 
resident of Johnson, county was present and met many old time friends. 

Laura Welch came to this county in 1837 and at the age of 76 
is still able to enjoy the old settlers picnic. 

George Magruder, of River Junction, who was recently struck 
by lightning sent word by his old neighbor Henry Walker, to his 
many friends that his heart was with them at the picnic and that he 
was slowly recovering from his injuries. 

Another old settler who is on the sick list, is Andy Rubleman, of 
Fremont township, who also sent regrets thac he could not be present. 

Caleb Sweet, who came to Johnson county with his parents when 
four years old in 1838, told incidents of boy life in the days of our 
early history. 

Mrs. Isaac Bowen, who came in 1839, present and met many 
of her old friends. 

Mrs. S. H. McCrory was present to renew the acquaintances she 
formed in 1840. 

Scores of other early comers were also present and enjoyed the 
day visiting old time friends. 

The friends of Austin Cole claim that he was the earliest settler 
present this afternoon. He came to Muscatine county in 1836 and 
settled in Johnson county in 1839. Mr. Cole has reached the advanced 


"A Glorious Reunion." 

Mrs. Hiram Watts celebrabed her 79th birthday in a delightful 
manner, Friday, August 11, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Kate 
Johnson, at 415 South Dubuque street, and the caption to this article 
fittingly describes the event, unanimously declare all who participated 
in the joyous occasion. 

Mrs. Watts was the guest of honor at a sumptuous dinner, and 
about the board were assembled her sons and daughters, all of whom 
had not been reunited in 20 years. 

Some of these loving children, now grown to manhood and 
womanhood, were accompanied by children of their own. The kins- 
folk were: Joseph Watts, Chariton, Iowa; Mrs. Sarah Ball and Mrs. 

— 26 — 

Mary Hills of Arkanas City, Kansas; Mrs. Alice Mann and daughter, 
Georgia, of Des Moines; Mrs. Laura Seiberth, of Grinnell; Mrs. 
Watts' great grandchildren, Earle Livingston and Pearl Elliott, of 
Arkansas City; and her son and daughter of luwa City, Martin Watts 
and Mrs. Kate Johnson. 

Other guests from abroad were Mr. and Mrs. L. Hamilton of 
Rock Island. 

Happy in their glad reunion and appreciating the fact that pleas- 
ures shared are oft doubled in sweetness, the merry makers decided 
to divide their enjoyment with mutal friends. Accordingly, in answer 
to the invitation in The Republicans 40 pioneers assembled at Mrs. 
Johnson's home and from i to 6 o'clock spent the hours in reminis- 
cent and gladsome chat. 

Rich in reminiscences, indeed, was the converse between Mrs. 
Watts and the guests. For nearly 60 years the venerable old lady 
has dwelt in Iowa City. Her husband, coming hither while the red 
men prowled about in the then wilderness, was one of the earliest 
pioneers who blazed the path to prosperity and to Iowa's greatness. 
The very room in which Mrs. Johnson was born and married and 
wherein her boy first saw the light of day stands on a site cleared of 
its "forest primeval" by Mr. Watts, over a half-century ago. 

Mrs. Watts is a wonderfully well-preserved woman. Despite 
her almost 80 years she reads with keen vision and without glasses, 
hears finely, follows the daily papers, keeps in touch with the new 
times, while remembering the old vividly, sews, quilts, and in fact, 
shows powers of eye, ear, hand and mind that are envied by many a 
woman 20 years younger. 

Gladly her pioneer friends — and her younger ones, too — joined 
with her own sons and daughters in offering her warmest congratula- 
tions on the eventful day, so near to the 80th milestone in life's journey, 
and united in the hope that her usual brightness, vigor, and health 
may abide with her for many a year to come. 

The pioneers of Johnson county will recall Hugh H. Tarbet, 
now of Victor, Col., where he is a popular justice of the peace and 
notary public. 

This venerable interpreter of law received a copy of The Refuhli- 
caii's 150,000 edition, and in reply writes a brief letter, which old 
settlers, especially his friends of other days, will read with deep inter- 
est. It is as follows: 

— 27 — 

"Editor Republican :~This morning as I entered my office, I 
found The Republican upon the floor, it having been thrown over 
the transom by some one. 

"Imagine my surprise when I read 'Iowa City' on it. Thirty- 
six years ago I left Iowa City to join the United States navy, and have 
not seen a copy of The Republican since until today. I notice the 
names of some old pioneers, and it seems like turning back to the first 
pages of my life, and it brings to remembrance things that were al- 
most extinguished in my mind. 

"The white bread of my Hfe was eaten in Iowa City and I cherish 
'the Athens' as one of the dearest spots on earth. I cannot contem- 
plate it without feeling a peculiar sensation within my breast. 

"The old stone church,' 'the American house;' *the Crummy 
house,' where the stages used to stop; the Capitol, and LeGrand 
Byington making a 4th of July speech on the front steps; the late 
Senator Moses Bloom, the clothier, making a talk to the boys going 
to the war, from the top of a box carat the Rock Island depot; Judge 
Malcom Murray bidding the 22d Iowa goodbye and his 'God bless 
you; I swore you all in and May God spare you to come back, that I 
may swear you all out.' 

"These things and many more crowd upon my memory until I 
am unfit for business for the day. 

"Yes, Iowa City is a lovely place. In all my wanderings I have 
not found its equal. 


In the cabins are to be seen the following reminders of old times: 
One old clock, a portion of the old fashioned dishes of an old 
timer, one pair of bellows, three lamps of ancient make, several sets 
of shovel and tongs, a flint lock musket, some of the first brick, a set 
of gourd dippers, cane of Rev. S. S. Howe, three spinning wheels, a 
yarn reel, a frowe and broad axe, a wolf trap, two lanterns of very 
early pattern, Robt. Bane's tar bucket, several sets of candle moulds, 
a bake oven and skillet, an old ox yoke, a good old style flax break, 
two domestic hackles, a candle box, a set of old hames, a powder 
horn with a history, a pair of handirons, crane, and a complete set of 
fire place furniture, some horns of elk and deer taken by hunters of 
early times. 

— 28 — 

The foregoing list should be increased until it includes samples 
of all the tools, weapons, and manufactures of pioneer times. A few 
bear, wolf, and buffalo skulls and anything that will be a reminder of 
the times past can be made to interest and instruct, and all such will 
be gladly received and well taken care of. The cabins show the 
touch of time and will soon require to be rechinked and redaubed, an 
effort should be made to replenish the grove around them in order 
that the yearly gatherings may be made more pleasant by a cool and 
plentiful shade. 


The pioneers of Johnson county are not frigid old mummies — 
not by a good deal. Their hearts are as warm as they were 40 years 
ago, and they still like fun, and lots of it. Consequently the jolly 
music (and the pretty music, too) of Conway's colored orchestra of 
Tipton and Cedar Rapids was encored a score of times during the 

More fun was added to the program by the pie-eating contest. 
The boys smeared their faces and shirts and waist fronts, but that did 
not hurt any of them. Leo Dehner broke all records, finishing his 
pie in 48 seconds. Paul McManus was a good second, and close after 
in the order named, followed another member of the Dehner's "in- 
numerable caravan," Art, and Master Downing, Hugh Grady and 
Lloyd Frezwick. In the name of the association Henry Wieneke 
gave each of the six boys a nice prize, harmonicas, knives and pocket- 
books being divided among the lads. 

The New Officers. 

The officers elected for the ensuing year at the election held at 
two o'clock are as follows. 

President — Hon. S. H. Fairall. 
1st Vice President — John Jayne. 
2nd Vice President — R. P. Howell. 
Secretary — Gilbert R. Irish. 
Treasurer — Henry Wieneke. 

— 29 — 

Notes of the Day. 

The picnic as a whole was a great success and was under the 
management of the following committees: 
Music — John Javne and Capt. Cree. 

Grounds — E. Howell, R. Hevern, J. A. Stevenson and Chas. 

Program — Euclid Sanders, W. E. C. Foster and Will Hohen-